Answers by Ethan Nicolle
• Do you have an RSS feed for the blog and Ask Axe Cop Episodes?
Yes, each has it's own feed, or you can click the RSS logo in the address bar and get the blog, episodes and Ask Axe Cop all in one feed.
• I want to send you some fan art, where should I sent it?
Send it to email@example.com
• Hey Axe Cop I have a question for you!
Sumbit Axe Cop questions only on the Ask Axe Cop page. If you send them via the contact page, forum, Facebook, Twitter or any other way, they will not go into the question pile.
• How many questions do you receive or Axe Cop? How can I get mine to the front?
We have hundreds, but asking original questions is what will stand out. I look for topics I know Malachai could really expaond an idea from and not just givr a yes or no answer to.
• Npw that Malachai is 6 will you change the tagline on the banner?
Since Axe Cop was created when Malachai was 5, we will keep the age 5 on the banner, but the credits to him on stories when he is six will say his age, so we know how old he was when he wrote each one. My age will change on episode credits whan appropriate also.
• Does Malachai Actually Write the Script for Axe Cop?
No, Malachai can barely write. The writing process is very similar to what you see in our Youtube video:
Malachai tells me a story, and I ask him questions to fill in the gaps. It's just an exploration of 5 year old logic... so he says he is an Axe Cop and asks me if I want to join his team. I say yes, he says sign here. I ask him what we are going to do, he says fight dinosaurs. Also, I do not write word for word what he says, I translate it, paraphrase it, and sometimes make sense of it. If you wanted to get technical, you could say Malachai comes up with the stories, then I write it and illustrate it... but I just feel lame trying to cling to my writing credit next to a five year old. I like when comic credits are simple... this guy wrote it, this guy drew it.
• Did Malachai really think of everything?
In general, yes... through vigorous questioning most of the concepts are from Malachai. He just doesn't give a lot of details, so those are up to me. Here is the "script" for Axe Cop Episode Five. First, these are the notes I take while on the phone (I type as he talks and it comes out pretty messy, I left the typos in for effect): axe cop 5 malachai: important mission we need to save leaf man. leaf man has powers but the bad guys stole his leaf powers bad santa stole them (he steals the presents from santa) bad guy gang... with an evil flyig book that bites people and eats people the book's name: "evil flying book" the book is actually a robot at the sign up place someone was yelling for us so we quit the mission what's your name? sockarang (boomerang socks) .. socks for arms bad santa has christmas magic and hthe power to hurt ears (hurting ear power) sockarang gets the blood of evil sanat and becomes super villain santa that is good avocado cop touches the blood and becomes evil santa too
So then I go through the notes and try to make them coherent and I find the gaps, then I call Malachai and quiz him on the plot holes. Here are some of the notes I took after questioning Malachai:
Q: does avocado soldier use his horn for any magic?
A: he wishes to give leaf man's powers back
Q: what does Ralph do?
A: he just watches and sings a loud song "tick tock the mouse ran up the clock"
Q: Does anyone die in the fight?
Additional info: good santa stole bad santa's guitar they go back to a try out: baby man. "shake what your baby gave ya." a baby that can fly when he gasses -has a baby suit, is a man the flying book is the hardest one to beat uni man and a wrestler also wrestler throws uniman at book
So I put that all together. Here is an example of my reworked notes.
reworked: Ralph Wrinkles's important mission is this: A guy named Leaf Man has had his powers stolen by a gang of bad guys the gang of bad guys is Bad Santa (who steals presents from good Santa, he also has the power of Christmas and the power to hurt ears) and also "evil flying book" which flies around and bites people. in order to fight these guys they must have another tryout. At the tryout, Sockarang joins the team. His arms are socks and they shoot off and return like boomerangs. so Sockarang, Leaf Man, Axe Cop, Ralph, and Avocado soldier go to fight bad santa. at the fight, ralph just sings tick tock the mouse ran up the clock. Bad Santa hurts their ears with his guitar. evil flying book keeps biting them. they retreat to hold more tryouts. at the tryouts they recruit baby man, wrestler, and uni-man. uni man says he took up crime fighting when his child was stolen. baby man's motto is "shake what your baby gave ya." and he can fly when he gasses. in the fight they realize that the book is actually a robot. the wrestler throws uni-man into the book and it explodes. they defeat bad santa by taking his guitar... sockarang gets bad santa blood on him and gains his powers. They win, but leaf man never got his powers back, so avocado soldier gives them back using his unicorn horn.
From these notes I draw the comic. Some dialog is made up to fit the situation, some I get straight from Malachai.
• Does Malachai write the "Ask Axe Cop" Episodes Too?
Yes. I keep a file of questions I have picked from the emails and I regularly call him and ask him what Axe Cop would answer to these questions. Ask Axe Cop is much closer to verbatim than the stories are.
• Did Malachai really come up with Uni-Baby?
A lot of people find it hard to believe that Malachai came up with Uni-Baby. Technically he did not. Here is the story. I was literally drawing Axe Cop 2 as he was coming up with it, and his older sister Megan kept tying to squirm in with her ideas for fairies and princesses and unicorns. Malachai wanted to have a baby kill Psydrozon and Megan kept saying he should put a unicorn in. Somewhere in there I heard someone say "Uni-baby" and I stopped them and said - yes- Uni-Baby, that's perfect.
• Is Ethan Malachai's dad?
I am his much older brother. Malachai and I have the same Dad. My Dad has very healthy loins.
• Does Malachai get paid?
Axe Cop only just got started, so even though we've had a lot of attention, no one has got paid yet, at the time I am writing this I am frighteningly broke. Chances are we will start making some money somewhere along the way here... and when that happens Malachai will get a cut. If you are really concerned about it, you can donate to Malachai's college fund.
• Does Axe Cop come out on a schedule?
I don't like to commit to a schedule with this project because I don't want to pressure Malachai and make it not fun for him. If it becomes a chore or a burden, then I just need to leave him alone. So far this has not happened and he has been more than excited to come up with more stories. As long as I have regular content coming from Malachai my goal is to release a new story episode every monday, and a new Ask Axe Cop every Wednesday and Friday. So that is the unoffcial schedule of Axe Cop.
• Is [insert character here] going to do anything else?
Maybe. We're dealing with a five year old here. He pulls characters out of nowhere and forgets about them. The only moderately significant thing baby Man has done is fart once.
• What happened to Axe Cop's lemon?
Malachai says Axe Cop's repsonse would be this: "I ate the lemon. I eat tons of them so I can be axe cop lemon for a long bazillion years."
• Will there be an Axe Cop book?
Of course! But we need more pages first. When this site went up there were five episodes up. The episodes are generally 2 or 3 comic pages long (except episodes one and zero), so that is only about 10-12 pages. We are expanding, but it will take a little while before we have enough Axe Cop for a book. We were just blessed to have gained so much popularity before even printing a book.
• Will there be any girl characters or black characters?
He's five. He hasn't learned about being gender and race sensitive and I think that may be part of the fun.
• What does Ethan use to draw Axe Cop
Axe Cop is drawn completely digitally using a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet in a program called Manga Studio EX. I pencil it in the program very loosely, then ink it on screen. I export the line art to Photoshop and I add my gray tones there. I add the lettering in Adobe InDesign. There is no Axe Cop art on paper besides sketches for fans... it all started as a comic I drew on my laptop when I was visiting Malachai, and I never do concept art for the characters, I just draw what comes to my mind as I listen him talk. If you are interested in seeing what the digital drawing process is like, there is a video of me drawing a page of my book Chumble Spuzz in Manga Studio here.
• Where did Ethan go to art school?
I did not go to art school or any college. I did go to the community college in my home town (Coos Bay, OR) for a couple terms but I hated it, especially the art program. I always had wanted to go to a good art college but never wanted to put myself in that kind of epic debt. So I just practiced as hard as I could without it and looked for opportunities. I do think I would be a much tighter artist if I had gone, but I am proud of where I have gotten without it too.
• What else has Ethan worked on?
I have a series of two digest sized graphic novels published by SLG called Chumble Spuzz which are available at SLG, Amazon or you can buy them in the Axe Shop signed with a sketch for $5 extra. My other previous works include Creep (artist), Puppet Terrors (artist on one issue), and the Weevil (writer/artist). I highly recommend Chumble Spuzz to Axe Cop fans over the age of 12 or 13. It is ridiculous fun humor and was nominated for an Eisner for Best Humor Publication in 2009. You can read a 25 page preview of book one here (opens pdf) and a 32 page preview of book 2 at MySpace Comics. To learn more about Chumble Spuzz check out the video.
• Wasn't Ethan the guy that did that Jesus with a machine gun comic?
I co-wrote and drew a comic called Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun with my friend Eric Peterson. It is a work I am not especially proud of so I don't bring it up much. You can read why in my public apology if you are interested to know.
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